So, uhm....looks like we’re approaching contest and mentor season, and I think we need to have a conversation.
Just because someone wrote a book doesn’t mean they’re good at mentoring/editing someone else.

That seems to be a blanket criteria placed over mentors/editors for these things, and it really, REALLY shouldn’t be.
Being able to edit some else’s work—especially someone who is essentially a stranger and you don’t have previous rapport or know them and their work well enough—requires a particular skill set that most authors just don’t possess.
Part of that skill set is being able to adjust your methods or style to fit what the writer might need.

Ask any author, having an editor you just do not vibe with is the WORST.
Seriously, if they don’t get you or your story and the work you’re trying to do, you’ll spend most of your time defending the point and purpose of that work instead of just...doing it.
Now, what I’m talking about is different from having someone you can talk to about general story and publishing stuff. That kind of mentor is different from what I’m talking about with the contest thing, so we’re not taking that particular off ramp today.
And, if I’m being honest, it’s seriously gotten to the point where some of these people sign on to be mentors for the clout instead of, you know, genuinely wanting to help another author.

Just sayin.
ENTYWAY, all that to careful, y’all. Please? 2020 is taking no prisoners, and this could end very not good for some folk.

If you’re gonna trust someone with your work, in some cases your literary heart and soul, make sure you do it based on more than a blog post.
Do your research, same as you would with anything else. Don’t let the excitement of the moment cloud your judgement, and trust your gut.

If you need a gut check, ask someone(s) you trust.
And contest and event organizers, please vet potential mentors. That’s part of your job in putting these things together, to protect potential mentees. You owe them that much as that absolute very least.
This thread might make some folk prickly, because I’m talking about more than contests here. Organizations that offer mentorships need to do the same thing.

Mentors should not be cutting their editing teeth on these manuscripts. Period.
Take care of yourselves, each other, and best of luck if you put yourself out there for one of these programs/contests.
You can follow @ElleOnWords.
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.

Latest Threads Unrolled: